Are you ready to meet your bookish significant other? It’s more than summer love with Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi, one of our most anticipated books of 2017. Check out our First Reads Friday review after the jump.
About the Book:
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Overall: Dimple is determined to be everything her culture says she shouldn’t be. Rishi is a hopeless romantic who believes in many of the tenants of “suggested arrangement.” What could go wrong?
Told from alternating points of view, WDMR had me captivated from Dimple’s first chapter. However, even though I thought I may not like Rishi, he unintentionally became my new book boyfriend. His chapters were joyful and ebullient. I laughed out loud at him, with him and ESPECIALLY when he and Dimple were brought together. I think Menon’s comedic and storytelling timing is unmatched in all of my most recent contemporary YA reads.
I am unsure if I can say this the correct way, but as an outsider, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing two families from the same culture not presented as a monolithic representation of said culture. You don’t get as much from Rishi’s family as you do Dimple’s, but you get a feel for soci-economic differences, child-rearing differences, as well as many similarities. You can very easily see how Dimple and Rishi ended up being themselves. This is what an #ownvoices representation can give the reader–accurate and authentic representation. I am sure that many young Indian readers will find immense satisfaction in reading this novel and seeing parts of their culture and themselves reflected back at them.
I always find it difficult to say enough good things about a book that I thoroughly loved, so I’ll leave you with this: WDMR will be your quick summer read with plenty of heat, laughter and warmth to keep you cool during the dog days of summer.
Judge a Book by its Cover: The front cover itself is so eye-catching. Also, it’s one of those covers that means something once you’ve completed the novel.But when you look at the full jacket itself, you see joy embodied.
Me Talk Pretty: We were provided an advanced copy of this novel from Simon & Schuster. These quotes may not be final, but they will give you a feel for the writing and how you will have your own personal thesaurus of your favorite quotes from WDMR.
“Keep it. Remember Me. Don’t tattle.”
“I see God in you.”
“Oh my Gods.”
He Said/She Said: Told from alternating points of view, this book is the ultimate he said/she said. Menon perfectly balances and plays the characters against one another, knowing when to tell the same scene from two points of view and when to give the characters time to process the previous scene.
Open tab/Last call: I’ll definitely be waiting for Sandhya at my local Starbucks and have an iced latte ready to go for her.
When Dimple Met Rishi releases on May 30, 2017 on Simon Pulse, 320 pages.